Runs with Scissors
Welcome, Penny Black friends and Merry Christmas season. If it is not your custom to celebrate Christmas, I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.
As I write this, I have a favorite CD of Christmas music playing softly. Christmas is filled with memories and the familiar music of the season is one of them. Each year at this time I resolve to play Christmas music all year long, but somehow that never happens. I believe it is an idea worth pursuing, though.
And at last, I am happy to present to you the 16th and last Snowy card I made to keep my promise to make a Snowy card every week from late August until my Christmas post.
Snowy and I are both delighted that the challenge has been met. It’s been fun learning more about his story and meeting his family. Snowy tells me he’s happy to have spent time on the Penny Black blog and feels the most confident when he sees me safely stowing away my scissors. Seems to me, however, the space heater would be more of a threat than my scissors!
Thank you to the Christmas Elf that created this collage of the stamp that started it all along with the fifteen Snowy cards I made with it this season.
Ah yes, Christmastime. As I said, it is a time of memories. I can close my eyes and it’s like a film of Christmases Past plays in my head. I recall vividly a special Christmas that took place when I was about six years old.
My Dad enlisted in the Army when I was about five years old. As it turned out, this was the start of his 30 year military career. I remember clearly the dark early morning he left our house for basic training. From there he was assigned to Oak Ridge, Tennessee as a member of the Military Police.
While we were able to join him there eventually, that first Christmas he was away from us was a very sad time for my mom. But that Christmas eve, she dressed my sister and I in our Christmas dresses (along with the dreaded long cotton stockings hooked to our mini garter belts) and we ventured to my grandmother’s home where my mother’s siblings and my cousins all gathered for Christmas Eve. It was not easy for my mom to display any Christmas spirit knowing her husband was so far away. My sister and I had been wishing for months that Santa Claus could bring my father home so that our mother wouldn’t be sad at Christmas.
Just before it was time to gather at the table for the Christmas Eve meal, we kids sensed something was happening. The grown ups were whispering to each other and my grandparents were speaking loudly in Polish, something they did when they didn’t want the kids to know what was going on. There was a feeling of electricity in the air. Suddenly, we heard loud thumping on the steps leading to the second story duplex where we were. Then there was pounding on the kitchen door. My sister, our cousins and I were all wondering if this could be Santa … and then, finally, the door flew open and there he was … my Dad!!
My sister and I could not believe our eyes. There was our Dad in his army uniform, which we had not seen before, reaching out to hug and hold my Mom who had totally been taken by surprise and was crying big tears of joy. I don’t really remember anything more that happened that Christmas. I do remember being totally amazed that Santa Claus could make such a big wish happen.
Here is Cooper, wearing only his pretty birthday suit! I had dressed him in his festive red cape/collar with tiny jingle bells attached, along with his black silk top hat trimmed with holly with the intention of posting his Christmas portrait. However, it made him very sad to have to wear that outfit. The last thing I wanted to do was make Cooper sad at Christmas, so here he is sitting in front of the new Christmas tree, wishing you Christmas Joy.
We will be just the three of us for Christmas as the adult kids either travel or carry out the traditions they are establishing with their own families. The plans are to create our family Christmas early in January when we gather in Wisconsin. As we did last year on Christmas Eve, we will attend the family Christmas service at our church and smile as we watch the little ones enact the Christmas story. No candlelight service with solemn versions of Silent Night that can start the tears flowing.
Mr. RWS, Cooper and I wish for all of you moments of joy among the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday. I hope for all of you that your memories of Christmases Past will fill in any spaces left empty by loved ones no longer here. I hope there will be happy surprises along the way. And when this Christmas is filed away with all the others, I hope you can one day recall it as one of the best ever.
It is time for me to scoot home and bake a few cookies, wrap a present or two, and spend time enjoying this special time of year. Merry Christmas to all of you and a safe and happy New Year. Thank you for the wonderful messages you leave for me each week and for sharing the bits of your life that connect us through our stories. I will be stowing the scissors until I see you all again on January 6th when I will be playing with the new Follow Your Heart release.
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